I am Distraction’s Right Hand Man

Have you met my friend Distraction? Some of you may know him well. Consciously making dates with him even introducing him to your friends and your family.  However, some of you may not know him as Distraction.

Some of you may call him Busyness. Or maybe family obligations. How about focused on work. Or my favorite entertainment from friends? He goes by so many names. His original name though, when you get to know him as intimately as I do is Distraction.

In fact I am Distractions Right Hand Man!

I met him when I was young. So young. I remember when he visited after my first heartbreak. That one after Scott and I had been together for 2 and a half years! He was older and I was 15. 15 and heartbroken and Distraction visited and comforted my soul. He taught me about working and taking college classes while being active in high school on the cheer squad, in multiple sports, in the choir, in clubs. He really supported me in my education and in doing well in life.

I am Distractions Right Hand Man!

I am tricked by his accolades. Jamieko you are amazing! You are the busiest woman I know. Wow Jamieko you have such a servants heart! I am tricked by him. I get wrapped up in how good it feels to serve others. Do unto others, I have been taught. So I undertook large projects, feeding 1500 people, building homes, painting schools, supporting the disabled connecting family members from across the country, coaching sports while working 3 jobs, I am a proponent of the little man. That is what Distraction tells me. I am doing what God wants me to do!!

I am Distractions Sidekick!

I remember when I was young he came around when Mom left. When I had to be shipped away from my Dad so I didn’t have to live on the streets. He was known as family then. He was the one I played with in the dark. He was the one who comforted me when I had to make new friends, again. He was the stories my family told me to make me feel alright. He made me funny, interesting, pliable and able to become what everyone needed me to be so I fit in. I became him so no one knew what was happening.

I am Distractions Confidant

When I got divorced my first thought was God what goals do I have that I haven’t achieved? So I moved to China, in two weeks. Teach! I know I want to teach over seas. That didn’t work out so I came home after a month because Distraction, Distraction he stayed over in the US. I was lonely without him. So I came back and became the best bartender and counselor I could.With him by my side my catch phrase became, I can make it happen!

I am Distractions Best Friend

He introduced me to so many amazing things. Volunteering, working multiple jobs, moving, running races and self-care in general to name a few. Lets be honest it’s amazing how he disguises himself as Self Care. Like a best friend he introduced me to things like Grad School and my husband. Let’s be honest if he had not been around I would have waited on both of those. But like a good friend, he pushes things, he helps me rush into things, he justifies everything.

I am Distractions Mistress

He gently slides his hand up my skirt, titillating me. He encourages me to focus on my impulsive desires and supports that those are healthy choices making sure I know nothing but to be by his side. He pulls me away from my husband with his intrigue, promises and attention and calls himself Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. He pulls me away from my family programmed into my phone as Work or Church. He is a tricky Bastard.

I am Distractions Bitch!

I do what he wants, when he wants. No fucking questions asked. I am Distractions Bitch. He is a tricky and manipulative asshole and I do what he says with a smile on my face. The moment I feel anything he pops up. He makes sure to comfort my soul. He makes sure I need him at all times because he does not want me to feel the pain, the loss, the heartbreak, the disappointment. He thinks he’s saving me from myself.

He’s wrong.

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Exhaustion

-2.2 down….now 79 to go

All I want to do is run. Literally and figuratively. If you remember this blog is about trying to figure out what I’m running from. Why is it so hard for me to lose the weight that’s weighing me down? What do I need to start running too. But right now I am just exhausted and the idea of running makes me want to vomit. 

I mean extremely exhausted. Let’s be honest it’s not a normal human feeling. It’s the feeling one expects to have after you run a half marathon. It’s the feeling the morning after you had 4 too many shots of crown. It’s the feeling you have from listening to people cry for 8 hours straight for three weeks in a row. It’s the feeling you get when you have no sleep. Like an actual zero minutes of sleep. 

It’s the pain you get when you wake up and you feel robbed of rest. It’s the fear you get driving home fighting to stay awake. It’s the feeling in your body that weighs you down.  As tragic as the feeling is it normally has an explanation. 

In my twenties I got my first taste of exhaustion. I was the queen of all nighters. In fact I found a use for my irregular insomnia. I never really needed sleep. Then one day I was exhausted. Then another. Then another. I knew something was wrong and went to get checked out. “Sinus infection. You have a really bad sinus infection. That’s why you’re so tired. You’re not actually getting sleep.” Mind blowing magic. A prescription for 100 Sudafed pills. (Who, by the way, needs that many pills? Clearly I don’t look like I cook meth in my basement). 

I keep hoping I have a sinus infection. Or hell maybe I started drinking in my sleep. Anything, any sort of explanation to help me understand this exhaustion. I try to work out but not even knowing my half marathon is creeping up is getting me going. 

This exhaustion makes me want to run away and hide under a rock. Not because I’m depressed and want isolation but because I just want to sleep for a week. Well let’s be real it is partly because I want to run away and hide under a fucking rock. Instead of hiding I decided to start a grief group and we talked about how grief is the hardest and most exhausting thing you’ll ever do. So I guess I do have an explanation. Turns out I’m still sad and it’s wearing me the hell out!

Today, I decided to suck it up and finally go running. David, my husband, so patient and kind (after much communication of my needs) always asks if I want to go to the gym. He knows to only ask once and to leave the huff and puffs and snide comments for after he shuts the door behind him. Today, today I said yes. I mean so much so that I slept in my running clothes so I had zero excuse. 

I of course had trouble with my headphones and didn’t get a good pace until 15 minutes in when I gave up and switched headphones with David. Instead of getting frustrated and sitting in the car I did the math and figured out that if I can keep a 3.7 pace at the half I can complete it in 3:30:00. This kept me moving. Albeit an hour slower than my goal it’s still exciting.  To be true to myself right now I’ll just be excited to cross the finish line. I almost completed 5 miles today. 

With 49 days left until the Rock and Roll half I struggled to complete 5 miles. My ankle and knees are killing me and I developed a huge blister on the instep of my foot. It’s like amateur at the Apollo. 

I posted on Instagram talking about how training for a half while grieving is not as easy as I thought. In fact it’s painful, just not happening, and yet in my exhaustion I will complete it. I will cross that finish line. I will be one step closer to figuring out what I’m running from and reach another goal!

Yesterday and today I was exhausted. Tomorrow I might be as well but as Popi said, “Every day in every way, my life gets better and better and better.”
– run JKO run 

Grief is forever 

Wellness Wednesday: Having been a grief counselor I know so much about how grief works. For instance did you know that most people don’t truly begin to grieve until about month 4 but the average recovery time is 18 to 24 months? My personal belief which I have shared with many people is that grief is a never ending process because sometimes grief isn’t being sad and in tears, sometimes it’s celebrating, it’s sharing memories, it’s honoring that person in what you say and do. Grief will be with your forever. Grief is your personal response to your loss. No judgement. No right, no wrong. Just what you need to do for wellness.

– run JKO run

Train to Win

So let’s be honest I’ve been writing the same blog post for possibly 3 months. I wish I was kidding, but my ability to be continuous is lacking! However, I am doing my best to make that change! (No this isn’t the blog I’ve been trying to write!)

That being said, this will be short, sweet and too the point! On September 11, 2016 I decided to get motivated again. What’s more motivating than spending money on a race?? Nothing! I have officially signed up for the Wicked Wine Run 5k and San Francisco Rock and Roll Half Marathon 2017!

I didn’t run the first week and last week I got in 2 runs with an amazing 4 mile hike today! This week starts my real training! This will be my 5th big race! I started with a 10.6 mile run in April 2009 and have since completed 3 half marathons (and more 5ks and 10ks than I’ve kept count) .  My only goal for this race (my 4th half marathon) is to complete the half in under 3 hours. I am really hoping for 2:45:00!


First step is to actually train. I am not known for consistency (hence the beginning of this post) especially with training. My first half I was running all of the time. I was running on a schedule. All of my other races (5ks, 10ks, 10 miler and half marathons) I haven’t really been consistent. I am normally in the gym pretty hard months before a race  but I don’t hit the pavement until six weeks or lets be real the month before. Tomorrow will be the six month mark before my big race and I am going to start the day with a run on a treadmill. I’m not ready to run a full 10k or hell even a 5k but I a ready to continue to the training! I am taking this baby steps seriously since I don’t want to injure myself (again).

So today I end the day with over 14k steps. Here’s to more consistency!

— Run JKO Run!

Steps to success!

After almost a year of not being able to run (10 months to be exact) I am pleased to say I am back at it!!!!! I am back on the treadmill. My goal is to run until the treadmill kicks me off (65 minutes total) and increase my distance every time I run. I’ve ran twice now. I’m hoping to run three times a week!

I’ve already made progress which is awesome! It feels amazing to be running again. I don’t honestly know if I’ll run today since I’m feeling lazy and I’ve already finished my workout. I’ve started Insanity Max which I love!! I’m hopeful I’ll have as much progress with that as I did with Insanity. I’ll hopefully have progress to report.  But next week I will run 3 times and I am excited  to see how far I run. I will get better and better!
Life is good right now!!!

1 pound up 77 to go
– run JKO run 

Backwards is not a good direction

I will be honest I feel like life is supposed to be all gumdrops and roses but let’s be real it’s not that way unless we go to the store and buy them ourselves!!!! My weight struggle has been just that a fucking struggle. I finally decided I needed a second pair of jeans because I’m starting a new job and new work clothes are fun. Well I didn’t try on many things because I hate shopping but I found these jeans and they were on clearance. 
I really thought oh they’ll be a little big and that’s ok they will be good until I get my first check and can actually create a clothing budget. Imagine my gut wrenching surprise when they were snug. Truth be told they are a different cut then I normally buy but really not enough to justify them not staying on!

I feel like I’ve moved backwards, they call it a backslide but damn it’s like I hopped on a Raging Waters slide and am flying in the air desperately holding onto my bikini to make sure it doesn’t fly off. However, I feel as much embarrassment as I would if the bikini slid off in my landing and I popped up topless. So I sit here staring at the size 16 feeling like a topless teen. Embarrassed. Devastated. Ashamed. And yet here I am reminding myself to stand tall. 
The jean size might be back my starting point four years ago, but they aren’t the original 18/20 that I was when I was my heaviest. My best friend reminded me that you need to dress the body you have. To love who you are and to be comfortable daily.  I’m embarrassed I had to be reminded. So I put these pants on one leg at a time and try to find a belt to keep them up because at 37 no one needs to see my lace “secret”.  
Life is too short to define yourself by a damn number printed on fabric. Yes I’m still working on losing my 76 pounds and I will continue to strive to be fit but I am one step closer to figuring out my why. Understanding this journey does finally have doors and I’m getting closer to one!
1 pound up 77 to go

– run JKO run

The lies we tell ourself

I love working three jobs. 

I just don’t have time for self care but that’s ok.  

We’re really not struggling. We’re learning what we need to learn in our relationship. 

I am grateful for my struggles. My past shaped who I am. 

I’m fine. No really I am. 

I’m good. Life is always a blessing. I’m excited about my struggles

I’m happy I didn’t get the job. It’s given me time to learn more. 

I was meeting with a client and when I asked about her current struggle she said, “We just pretend it’s not happening.” I was intrigued and dug deeper and realized her and her family used positive affirmations a lot and she internalized it as pretending the bad isn’t happening. That they were all lying and wouldn’t face the truth. 

This really hit me. Me, the Mary Poppins of the group, can find a positive in every single situation. I’m not kidding I can. It annoys most and impresses many. It’s not something I even try to do. It’s what my dad beat into me over and over again. Not literally of course but by modeling and constant correction. 

My mom left and my sister, brother and I moved in with my sister and brother’s side of the family. That wasn’t something that was super shitty it was a “time to get to connect with that side of the family and continue to grow up with my siblings.” 

My heart was broken and it wasn’t let’s bash on the dude who broke my heart it was, “Jamie, he’s just a shadow of what’s to come. Look at what God taught you.”
I’ve moved 77 times. That’s not super unstable that’s “flexible and able to welcome and embrace change”.

Over and over I have, what the therapist in me, calls positively reframed something. I could give you thousands of examples of how I put a positive spin on something. Or as my client said how I lie to myself to make myself feel better. 

As we know I’ve been struggling with my weight. Less of a struggle more of a losing battle because I haven’t done anything different. Remember the definition of insanity, “Doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results”. I’ve been so busy with life that my huge commitment truly fell to the side. Which I said, “Well it’s ok I haven’t gained any weight (lie) and I will make time in the summer (lie…my summer has been busier than the school year).” Well last month I finally got news back on what was wrong with my knee, the big A, arthritis. Like seriously who the hell gets arthritis in your knee at 36? A football player maybe? Nope Jamieko. And when I asked the doctor if it was because I was fat she looked at me and clearly contemplated what to say gently. She looked away took a deep breath, shrugged her shoulders, tilted her head and said, “Well Jamieko, simply put yes. Your body wasn’t built to handle the weight…..” I stopped listening. 

As if being the heaviest I’ve been in a long time (234.0) isn’t bad enough??? My dear friend who’s a nurse told me, “Then he’s an asshole. Joints hurt when they have to do more work or carry more weight, but it doesn’t matter. Arthritis sucks.” It’s amazing how I’ve really encouraged everyone to lie. My husband has become almost an expert at the positive reframe. I’m proud. Most of my friends struggle but every now and then I get someone who is even better than myself at the lie. I didn’t have the heart to tell my friend you realize you said the same thing the doctor did? I have arthritis because my body is working harder. It’s working harder because I’m so heavy.

I talked it over with my dad. Well let’s be honest it was more me in a blubbering mess as he listened. I didn’t take it well. For the first time I felt fat and I had done my body wrong! I cried alone. I judged myself via text to my best friend. I then put my big girl panties on and reframed the shit out of it. Then when my husband got home I talked it out with him. These were the insights and reframe I came to. 

1. There’s not a tear. So that’s huge! It might never get better but I don’t have to have surgery. 

2. This is just encouragement to continue to fight to lose weight. 

3. The doctor told me I could start running again. In fact any weight bearing exercise possible. I love running and am excited about this! (I might get a second opinion about this but I’m excited!)

4. Proves I’m not crazy. I do hurt more on days I don’t work out or move. So I have to get at least 30 min of exercise in every day. Which of course is perfect!

5. It humbles me and makes me take ownership of what has happened to my health and I have the power to change. 

6. I will have to see my personal doctor (I was meeting with a workmans comp doctor) and get a second opinion and really create a plan with David and make this shit move quicker. I don’t like pain so I need to take care of me!

7. Most important this proves that I continue to put others first and that I have continued to be “fat”. I started seeing this doctor in March and haven’t lost any weight! (In fact I might have gained as of today). It is clear there’s something I’m running from and I subconsciously am benefitting from staying this way… I need to figure out what so I can change!

So here I am 12 days away from being 37 and I am almost one pound heavier than I started this journey and officially have arthritis. Which translates to, it’s almost my birthday and I am empowered to make change and really work on making my health a priority. I’m ok with this lie. If I didn’t lie I’d probably be stuck in the depressed, angry, hopeless version of Jamieko. Which lets be real, isn’t pretty and doesn’t encourage positive change!

It might be lying. But I’d rather be positive Jamieko, The Mary Poppins of the group lifting everyone up, including myself, than any other version! Here’s to the next the next lie! Another step closer to being the whole version of me. 

1 lb up 77 to go 
-run JKO run